Tag Archives: 4 lightning bolts

Review: Flora’s Dare by Ysabeau S. Wilce

WilceFlorasDare

Flora’s Dare—buy it by Ysabeau Wilce—her website Recommended Ages: 12+ In the sequel to Flora Segunda, Flora Fyrdraaca ov Fyrdraaca, fourteen-year-old heroine of an alternate-history version of San Francisco called Califa, finds out what her true name is. And while I’m mentioning it, I might add that the full title of this book is Flora’s Dare: How a Girl of Spirit Gambles All to Expand Her Vocabulary, Confront a Bouncing Boy Terror, and Try to ... Read More »

Review: The Secret History of Tom Trueheart by Ian Beck

BeckTomTrueheart

The Secret History of Tom Trueheart—buy it by Ian Beck—his website Recommended Ages: 10+ Young Tom comes from a line of storybook heroes. And by that I mean the actual heroes of such stories as “Jack the Giant Killer” and “The Frog Prince.” Whether a clever tailor or a charming prince, the hero in each of your favorite fairy tales was most likely a member of the Trueheart clan, acting on instructions from the staff ... Read More »

Review: The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter

PotterKneeboneBoy

The Kneebone Boy—buy it by Ellen Potter—her website Recommended Ages: 12+ The Hardscrabble children are (let’s face it) strange. Elder brother Otto never takes off the scarf he has worn since their mother disappeared, and speaks only in a private sign language understood only by his siblings. Youngest child Max is a walking encyclopedia with a head for heights. And in the middle is Lucia, the narrator (though she pretends to be anonymous), scared and ... Read More »

Review: The Vampire Prince by Darren Shan

ShanVampirePrince

The Vampire Prince—buy it by Darren Shan—wiki him—his website Recommended Ages: 12+ Book 6 of “The Saga of Darren Shan,” also known in some markets as the “Cirque du Freak” series, begins where the previous book left young half-vampire Darren—in a damp, dark place deep within Vampire Mountain, hurtling down a subterranean river toward all but certain death. Even after he (barely) survives his tumble out of the mountain, Darren faces odds stacked mightily against ... Read More »

Review: The Second Siege by Henry H. Neff

NeffSecondSiege

The Second Siege—buy it by Henry H. Neff—his website Recommended Ages: 12+ Book 2 of the “Tapestry” quartet continues with Max McDaniel’s second year at the Rowan Academy, a school for magically talented teens somewhere on the east coast of the U.S. I have already noted that Rowan has as much in common with Hogwarts as almost any school for magic. In this book, however, the apparent similarities between the two schools take a backseat ... Read More »

Review: Trials of Death by Darren Shan

ShanTrialsofDeath

Trials of Death—buy it by Darren Shan—his website Recommended Ages: 12+ In book 5 of the “Saga of Darren Shan,” a.k.a. “Cirque Du Freak”—or book 2 of the “Vampire Rites” trilogy, which is the second of four trilogies within the same—half-vampire Darren starts to look less like an eternally whiny teenage git and more like someone with the potential to be a hero. But it looks as if he may need to be drowned, roasted, ... Read More »

Review: The Land of Stories The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer

Land of Stories

The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell - buy it By Chris Colfer – website Recommended Ages: 9+ Bookish Alex Bailey and her twin brother Conner are navigating sixth grade in very different ways. Struggling with a ‘family situation’, Alex sits at the front of the class and hangs on the stories and words of her teacher Mrs. Peters, whilst Conner is just trying to rest his eyes! The one thing they have in common is their ... Read More »

Book Review: Spirits in the Park by Scott Mebus

MebusSpiritsPark

Spirits in the Park—buy it by Scott Mebus—his website Recommended Ages: 12+ In Book 2 of the trilogy titled “Gods of Manhattan”—which started with the book by the same name—young Rory Hennessy takes big strides toward fulfilling his destiny as the last surviving Light in the city, county, and state of New York. This sentence immediately confronts me with the problem that there is so much to explain, just so you can understand what I’m ... Read More »

Review: The Search for Belle Prater by Ruth White

WhiteSearchforBellePrater

The Search for Belle Prater—buy it by Ruth White—about the author Recommended Ages: 12+ In this companion to Belle Prater’s Boy, Gypsy and her cousin Woodrow do a little more growing-up in the small town of Coal Station, Virginia. It’s still the 1950s, when families like Gypsy’s are just getting their first TV set and, by running a wire up to a mountaintop antenna, they can pick up all of two networks. Black people are ... Read More »

Book Review: Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne

HawthorneTanglewoodTales

Tanglewood Tales—buy the paperback—free Kindle book by Nathaniel Hawthorne—wiki him Recommended Ages: 11+ You may have heard of the Tanglewood Music Festival in the Berkshire mountains of Massachusetts. This festival is named after the mansion where the festival is held. The mansion was named after the nearby cottage where Nathaniel Hawthorne stayed while writing this book. And the cottage, according to my sources, was named after this book—a sequel to the same author’s A Wonder-Book ... Read More »